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An Analysis of Pre and Post-COVID-19 Lockdown Spatial Ability Performance in Blind and Low-Vision Individuals

June 1, 2023 | Exhibitions, Professional Development, Conferences, and Networks, Public Programs

Historically, spatial ability assessments have been used to measure spatial thinking on specific constructs in students participating in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses. High spatial ability is linked to greater performance in STEM courses and professional STEM career fields. A spatial ability test used commonly for this measurement is the Mental Cutting Test (MCT) developed in 1939 by the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB). Unfortunately, the MCT is unable to measure the spatial thinking of blind or low-vision (BLV) populations due to the test being only accessible by sight. In 2018, a research lab from Utah State University (USU) adapted the MCT into a fully accessible tactile version, called the Tactile Mental Cutting Test (TMCT). The majority of BLV population samples that have taken the TMCT previously have been participants in training centers for the blind, which serve as training centers for helping BLV populations to build blindness skills and encourage independence. Additional data has been collected from youth camps sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and national and state NFB conventions. In this paper we compare pre-COVID-19 and post-2021 TMCT assessment data from BLV participants including scores and test duration between 2019 and 2022. Results show a statistically significant difference in how long it took participants to complete the TMCT between the two timeframes.


  • David Searle
    Utah State University
  • Daniel Kane
    Utah State University
  • 2013 10 25 130226AJ5D1058 2
    Illinois State University
  • Wade Goodridge
    Co-Principal Investigator
    Utah State University
  • Citation


    Funding Program: AISL
    Award Number: 1712887
    Funding Amount: $2,101,009.00
    Resource Type: Conference Proceedings | Research Products | Conference Proceedings
    Discipline: Engineering | General STEM
    Audience: Adults | Educators/Teachers | Learning Researchers | Museum/ISE Professionals
    Environment Type: Museum and Science Center Exhibits | Professional Development, Conferences, and Networks | Afterschool Programs | Museum and Science Center Programs
    Access and Inclusion: People with Disabilities

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